ICM 1/144
U-Boat Type IIB (1943)

Reviewed by Sean Hert
March 2013

After the end of World War One and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany's military forces were severely curtailed. These limitations included the ban on on submarine forces for the Navy. Germany continued to develop submarin technologies in secret, working through Dutch shell corporations. After Adolf Hitler began to re-arm Germany, construction began on the first Type II submarines, which were based on technologies developed in secret. The Type II was a small, coastal submarine with limited range, armament and capabilities. They mainly served in a training capacity, preparing naval officers to command the larger ocean-going submarines, but all did experience some operational war cruises.

The Type IIB was larger, and thus had a greater range than the earlier IIA. There were 20 of this sub-type built. This kit from ICM contains the parts to build any one of five different Type IIB's: U18, U19, U20 and U23 and U24. U 18-20 had a different conning tower than U23-24. All five of these subs were moved by truck to Austria, where they were reassembled and sailed to the Black Sea to conduct operations against Soviet shipping. All five were scuttled in 1944.


The main hull consists of two halves, split down the centerline. Each half has good, crisp detail and is free of manufacturing defects. Both halves, however, had the extreme bow crushed from movement during shipping. The plastic of the hull is very thin in this location, and most modelers should be able to repair the damage.

The hull halves match up with a little effort; the alignment pins are very slight, and don't do much.


This is the main sprue of parts for the IIB. As with most submarine kits, parts are relatively few in number. This sprue is dominated by the large display base in the center, along with the one-peice deck. The various dive-plane and rudder assemblies, and propellers and shafts, also appear here.

There are also two stiffing bulkheads for placing inside the hulls. Finishing up this sprue are the parts for inside the conning tower; the deck, platform, periscopes and radio masts, the stands for the display base and one of the two 20mm guns.

A few parts show some small seams to clean up, but nothing challenging.


This smaller sprue contains the parts to build the two variant conning towers, depending on which of the five possible hulls numbers desired. The other 20mm gun, and the railings for the "cigarette" deck complete this sprue.


No photoetch is included.


A small decals sheet is included, which contains draft and hull markings. Most of these decals are printed in white on a white background and are difficult to see. The decals to model U20's emblems, as see on the box art, are included.


A simple sheet of instructions, as well as a sheet of painting and decaling directions, are included.


1/144 is a good scale for a small coastal sub of this type. This kit's low part count, ease of assembly and good detail should make this an easy weekend project for anyone, or a good first model, as long as the bow remains undamaged. Recommended!

Thanks to Squadron for the review sample. It is listed as #S.010, with a MSRP $37.99. ICM models kits are distrubuted in the United States exclusively by MMD-Squadron.